Eastern Europe: The Last Barrier between Christianity and Islam
by Giulio Meotti
September 20, 2016
Austria’s fate is now at stake.
Perhaps it was a coincidence that Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and tipped to be the next Pope, chose September 12, the anniversary of the Siege of Vienna, when Turkey’s Ottoman troops nearly conquered Europe, to deliver a most dramatic appeal to save Europe’s Christian roots.
“Many Muslims want and say that ‘Europe is finished’,” Cardinal Schönborn said, before accusing Europe of “forgetting its Christian identity.” He then denounced the possibility of “an Islamic conquest of Europe.”
Konrad Pesendorfer, head of the Austrian Office of Statistics, said that by 2030, 40% of the population of Vienna will be foreign-born, thanks to internal demography and migration flows (60,000 arrivals in just one year).
Since the fall of Constantinople in 1453, much of Eastern Europe’s Christian population spent centuries under Islamic occupation, particularly under the Ottomans. It now seems that the clock has reverted to 1683, when Ottoman armies were at the gates of Vienna.
It is not a coincidence that the fierce resistance of Eastern Europeans has been the main impediment to a unified response by the European Union to the migrant crisis. It was these Eastern states that forced German Chancellor Angela Merkel to halt the massive flux of migrants. Today, where there is no border, migrants keep coming en masse. In August alone, 23,000 migrants arrived in Italy.
Brussels is whipping up a propaganda war to cast the Western Europeans, who favor unvetted Muslim migration, as cosmopolitan and tolerant, and Eastern Europeans as a bunch of xenophobic bigots, if not outright neo-Nazis.
Europe’s educated elite might do well to listen to their Eastern brethren. These countries, ironically, are the core of the “new Europe,” the last to join the European project and the very countries, having escaped from authoritarian regimes, which should have revived it. Brussels’ policy is now pushing this Eastern bloc back under Russia’s sphere of influence.
The Eastern Europeans’ reluctance to open the doors to massive Muslim migration can be explained by the economic crisis, falling birth rates, their relatively homogenous societies, the persecution of the Christians under Communism, memories of a conflict with Islam dating back to the Middle Ages, and the attempt by Brussels to impose a cultural agenda. The European Parliament, in fact, has constantly passed resolutions pressuring conservative East European member-states such as Poland, Hungary and Croatia, to legalize same-sex marriage and abortion on demand.
The President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Juncker, calls him “Viktator” Orbán. But Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, defiant, is going ahead with the construction of a wall on Hungary’s border with Serbia. When Communism fell, Hungary was the first country to open the Iron Curtain and let people out. Now it is first country to erect a fence to keep people out. Orbán is also planning an additional fence along that border.